Isle of Man Business Network | News
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The Isle of Man Business Network (IOMBN) has announced its new leadership team following the organisation’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday 11th March 2021.

Following a successful year as Chairman of the Isle of Man Business Network, Alex Wilson, Marketing Manager at Microgaming, will now assume the role of President whilst Vice Chairman Carrie Allen‐ Snell, Marketing Manager at Cains, graduates to Chairman. Luke Adebiyi, Client Engagement Lead & Team Leader at Capital International Group, will take up the role of Vice Chairman and following a three‐year term in the leadership team, Dearbhla Doyle, Marketing Manager at Microgaming will resume a role within the voluntary committee.


During 2020 and under Alex Wilson’s stewardship, the IOMBN hosted 12 events, both in‐person and virtually, ranging from insightful learning events, community activities, social networking and topical updates through IOMBN’s close relationship with the Isle of Man Government, local businesses and international speakers. The network also sold 1,140 tickets, dedicated 581 volunteer hours and raised over £900 for local charities.


Alex Wilson, now President, commented: ‘It has been a challenging yet rewarding year as Chairman, where community and connection has been more important than ever. As a committee, we clubbed together to ensure events continued to provide an outlet for our members and non‐members throughout multiple lockdowns. Our relationships with sponsors, speakers and suppliers grew stronger as mutual support also showed where the IOM Business Network positions itself in our business community. A word of gratitude to our members, event attendees and supporters who have stuck with us this year, and a warm welcome to the Network’s three new committee members who will advance our event offering once more this year.’


Incoming Chairman, Carrie Allen‐Snell, commented: ‘While this year turned out to be entirely different from what I expected stepping into my role as Vice‐Chair, personally, I’ve taken away more than I could I originally thought and could not be prouder of how our community has worked together in these challenging times.


‘Looking to the year ahead, and my role of Chairman, I’m looking forward to helping the IOM Business Network go from strength to strength as we continue to support the Island’s business community, providing a much needed outlet for our members to socialise, learn and develop together. I’d like to thank our long‐standing and new committee members for their dedication to the role.’


Incoming Vice‐Chairman, Luke Adebiyi, added: ‘The Isle of Man Business Network is instrumental in hosting both learning and topical events, which in turn supports our large member base in professional development but also allow them to meet new individuals and make new contacts they wouldn’t make in their day‐to‐day working environment. I personally have been a council member for the past twelve months and have spoken and hosted events for the network in both Mental Health & Diversity, which is real passion of mine.


‘I’m looking forward to using my previous event management skills and connections both on and off island to provide members with events that will be beneficial to all, but also collaborating with other organisations to serve not just our business community, but our Island Community especially in community and charity initiatives during my term as vice‐chair.”

In the first in a series of virtual events during the lockdown, and to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, the IOMBN were joined by representatives from Public Health Isle of Man, Isle Listen and FreeMyMind to talk on the importance of mental health in the workplace pre, during and post pandemic.


To complement this session and in the spirit of the theme of this year’s national event (kindness), Alyssa, a community psychologist in the Isle of Man, kindly shared her top tips for cultivating a positive mindset regardless of your environment:


1.       Self‐reflection during lockdown

Use this lockdown period as an opportunity for reflection. This experience has brought with it major changes to our daily lives and routines, and many of us are spending more time at home than we ever have previously. This can provide a rare chance to slow down and reflect on those things which are most meaningful to us. By identifying our values, we can start to plan how we want our lives to look once the world returns to “normal.”


How do you identify your values? First, try to ask yourself how you’ve been coping since lockdown began. If you find that you’ve really struggled, what is it that’s currently missing from your life? For example, you might find that you really miss having a routine; daily social interactions; feeling a part of your community; or going to work. On the other hand, if lockdown has provided you with a sense of relief, this can also be a vital clue. What is it that’s improved about your daily life? Have certain activities or obligations been put on hold? Have any unhealthy relationships been extinguished? Have you had more time to relax, focus on hobbies, or reconnect with family?


Once you can pinpoint what has changed – and how it’s really made you feel – you can decide what you’d like to carry forward into your post‐lockdown life, and what you’d like to leave behind.


2.       Find new, creative ways to incorporate meaningful activity into your day

For many of us, one of the most difficult aspects of daily life during the pandemic has been the restriction of our usual activities. We’ve suddenly found ourselves unable to meet up with friends, go to the gym, volunteer, or play sports, among many other things. This can leave us feeling as though something important is missing from our lives, potentially leading to low mood, boredom, and feeling without purpose. It’s very important to explore whether any of the activities you previously enjoyed can be adapted and made more lockdown‐friendly.


Several businesses and charities on the island and beyond are live‐streaming all kinds of content for free, and they’re definitely worth checking out! You can attend virtual exercise classes, religious services, webinars, and play games online with friends and family. Consider checking in with local Confidential Information charities on the island to enquire whether you can volunteer your time remotely, or take free classes online through the University College Isle of Man.


3.       Change your relationship with your worries

Imagine you’re standing at a train station, watching as trains arrive at the platform and leave again. Several trains come and go, and each head in a different direction. Do you jump on the first train that arrives, regardless of where it’s going? Or do you stop, observe the trains as they pass, and wait for the train that’s taking you in the right direction?


Our thoughts work in a very similar way. All day long, various thoughts will pass through our minds. Some of these will be helpful and positive; some will be neutral; and some will be negative. If we ave a thought that worries us, it’s very easy to jump on that “train” of thought and follow it to a destination of anxiety and stress.


Rather than jumping on every “train” that arrives at our platform, try to instead practicing just stepping back and observing. Like the trains, thoughts will come and go. You can notice the thoughts and worries that you’re having without necessarily latching onto them.


If you find that a “worry train” has pulled up at the platform, take a moment to evaluate whether this is a problem you can realistically do something about. If it isn’t, allow that train to leave the station without you as a passenger. Bring your mind back into the moment: notice where you are, and what you can hear, smell, see, taste, and feel.  Bring yourself back to whatever activity you were doing, and try to focus on this fully. If you notice your mind wandering or another worry train arriving, allow yourself to notice it and then bring your mind back to the present again.


4.       Focus on what you can control

Anxiety during a pandemic is normal. The constant bombardment of news, frightening statistics, and conversations dominated by the virus certainly don’t help, and the uncertainty of it all can leave us feeling completely out of control. There is a lot about this pandemic that’s beyond our control: how the government responds, how other people act, who may become ill.


Try to limit the amount of exposure to news about the virus you get each day. Rather than constantly searching on Google or Facebook for the latest news, perhaps promise yourself that you will only check once per day, and always make sure that you’re getting your information from a reputable source (the Isle of Man daily briefings, the World Health Organisation, etc).


Focus on what is within your control: things such as your daily routine, the people you interact with, the precautions you’re taking, and your self‐care.


5.       Resist the pressure to always “be your best self”

Throughout the pandemic, it’s completely normal to feel stressed, worried, and low at times. Most of us have never lived through a period of such uncertainty and change, and we’re all doing the best we can to adapt. It may seem as though other people are really “thriving” during lockdown – learning new skills, getting in shape, and renovating their homes. There’s a pressure to be productive and your “best self” during this period which can cause undue stress for a lot of people.


If you’ve been struggling or feeling unproductive, you’re not alone. If you haven’t mastered a foreign language or redecorated your home, join the club!


Try not to compare yourself to others. Taking a break from social media, or limiting your time on these platforms, can do wonders. Remember that people typically only put their best selves on Facebook and Instagram – they’re not usually documenting times that they’ve felt lonely, worried, or spent the day in bed watching Netflix.


Instead, focus on your own health and self‐care. Try and get enough sleep, connect with people who matter, and pat yourself on the back for every day that you have survived this lockdown, because that’s exactly what you’re doing. These are difficult times for everyone, and sometimes getting through the day is more than enough of a “win.”


Chances are, you’re doing so much better than you realise.


If you feel that your mental health is deteriorating and you need additional support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the mental health services on island.


For further free resources on the subject of mental health, please visit For future events from the IOMBN, please refer to our Events page or subscribe to our mailing list.

The Isle of Man Business Network (IOMBN) has announced its new leadership team following the organisation’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday 23rd April 2020.


Following a successful year as Chairman of the Isle of Man Business Network, Dearbhla Doyle, Brand Manager at Microgaming, will now assume the role of President whilst Vice Chairman Alex Wilson, Internal Communications Manager, also Microgaming, graduates to Chairman. Carrie Allen‐Snell, Marketing Manager at Cains, will take up the role of Vice Chairman and following a three‐year term in the leadership team, Katie Nicholson, Director of Petra Consulting will resume a role within the voluntary committee.


During Dearbhla’s stewardship, the IOMBN held 15 events, ranging from insightful learning events, community activities, and topical updates through IOMBN’s close relationship with the Isle of Man Government, local businesses and international speakers.


Dearbhla Doyle, now President, commented: ‘It’s been a fantastic year and I’ve truly enjoyed working alongside so many people from different areas of the Isle of Man’s business community.


‘We’ve delivered another year of great events, which has only been possible because of the IOMBN’s committee of volunteers who spare their evenings and weekends to help pull these together for our community. I can’t thank Katie Nicholson enough for all her support and an exemplary three year’s as Vice Chairman, Chairman and President, and I wish Alex and Carrie all the best of luck for the upcoming year.’


Incoming Chairman, Alex Wilson, commented: ‘The Isle of Man Business Network’s primary purpose is to provide a platform for professionals to connect informally as well as regular opportunities to learn from relevant speakers. In more recent years, through Team IOMBN, UNESCO Biosphere, and the British Irish Trade Alliance we have grown to support wider community initiatives and charities, largely thanks to the support of our membership network and volunteers connections.’


‘Looking to the year ahead, and the challenging times many individuals and businesses will likely face, community has never been more powerful, and our support network will remain open to everyone to access. During May, we will turn our focus to virtual events to bring together and support in any way we can and continue to provide a friendly outlet to socialise, learn and develop together. Our new committee will embrace this new world, and I’d like to thank our long‐standing and new committee members for their dedication to the role.’


Carrie Allen‐Snell, added: ‘Since I moved to the Island in 2019, I have found the IOMBN and it’s events an incredibly supportive network and I’m delighted to be taking on the role of Vice‐Chairman, supporting the Network’s exciting event’s calendar over the next 12 months.’


During the AGM, the Isle of Man Business Network also officially welcomed new members Alex Toohey, Canaccord Genuity, Rachel Hopkinson, Department for Enterprise, and Luke Adebiyi, Capital International Group, to the network’s committee.

Members of the Isle of Man business community gathered for the annual Isle of Man Business Network Budget Breakfast at The Palace Hotel and Casino on Wednesday 19 February, sponsored by ILS World.

Over 200 attendees registered for the event which saw the Isle of Man Treasury Minister, Alfred Cannon MHK, outline the Department’s Pink Book and financial plans for the coming year.

The sell-out breakfast event is the first opportunity for the Isle of Man business community to hear from the Treasury Minister following the Budget’s approval in Tynwald the day before.

Key messages in the 2020 Budget included a focus on climate change, health care and increasing the support for low to middle-income workers. Support for businesses was also announced in the budget, with £5million set aside to support new business ventures, a further £1.5 million investment into the roll out of fibre-optic across the Island, and continued financial support for incentives to grow the economically active population.

Chief executive of ILD World, Chris Eaton said:

‘ILS World’s association with the network goes back many years as we feel the group has an important role in supporting the Island’s business community which we hope will continue for many years to come.’

Chair of the Isle of Man Business Network, Dearbhla Doyle, said:

‘The Budget Breakfast is one of the Isle of Man Business Network’s key calendar events and we’re proud to be able to provide a useful link between Government and the business community to enable the public to hear first-hand from the Treasury Minister what the budget will mean for them and the wider community. I’d like to thanks ILS World for their kind support and sponsorship of this event and the Network committee for helping to create another successful see-out event.’

In the welcome address from Dearbhla Doyle, Chair of the Isle of Man Business Network, it was also announced that Carrie Allen-Snell would be adopting the role as Vice Chair of the committee following the committees AGM on the 26th March. Current Vice Chairman, Alex Wilson, will then adopt the role of Chair of the Isle of Man Business Network.



On Thursday 28th November, the Isle of Man Business Network held its annual Christmas social event, with 110 members coming together to ring in the festive season at 1886. The event sponsored by Cains, with the support of the local business community who donated a generous consignment of raffle prizes raised over £750 in aid of Victim Support Isle of Man and REACH.

Dearbhla Doyle, Chairman of the Isle of Man Business Network, commented: “2019 has been a year where we’ve tried to focus committee efforts on supporting community and charitable causes with the reintroduction of our Carnivale-themed ball sponsored by Newfield raising in excess of £5,000 for Alzheimers Society Isle of Man. We also marked our UNSECO Biosphere partnership with a beach clean in association with Beach Buddies Isle of Man alongside continuing to man feeding stations at the Parish and End to End Walk through our Team IOMBN banner.”

“2020 will be another year of monthly learning and social events aimed at a broad cross-section of the business community including a topical presentation from Luke Adebiyi on mental health sponsored by Capital International Group, Annual Budget Breakfast presented by the Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan MHK sponsored by ILS World and wine tasting social at the Wine Cellar in the first quarter.”

This year the Isle of Man Business Network has hosted 15 events across the Douglas district, with over 1500 attendees providing a good indication of the strength of local appetite for continued professional development. Speakers including Lynn Day, Head of Design at Starbucks EMEA, TED-presenter and Olympic coach, Phil Quirk of PQ Performance and Carol Glover, international life coach with some heavy-hitting US friends have all contributed to the business networks reputation as the islands leading business network.

The committee volunteer hours were acknowledged by Isle of Man Newspapers in this year’s Awards for Excellence in November, with the IOMBN a shortlisted finalist in the Sharing our Freedom to Flourish category.

Ahead of the 2020 events season, the IOMBN are inviting individuals and corporates to renew or enrol in their membership programme which provides individuals or corporates of 10 employees and upwards with early bird access and discounted ticket prices to their sell-out events.

In November, the IOMBN secured an affiliate membership with BITA International which will provide IOMBN members with networking opportunities when travelling overseas in the UK and Ireland. To find out more about membership benefits or future events, which non-members can also access, please visit


A topical debate on the advantages of legalising cannabis on the Isle of Man was hosted on
Wednesday 6 November by the Isle of Man Business Network and event sponsors, ILS World.
Dr Alex Allinson MHK, proposed the motion, “This house believes that the economic and medical
advantages of legalising all strains of cannabis in the Isle of Man outweigh the social concerns”,
which was seconded by Dave Taggart, COO of Glycyx Therapeutics Limited.
The debate covered a variety of economic and medical advantages, including benefits of increasing
employment through industrial hemp production harvesting, reducing crime, to tourism
Dr Henrietta Ewart, Director of Public Health on the Isle of Man opposed the motion, which was
seconded by Dawn Henley, Public Health Strategist on the Island.
Dr Alex Allinson, said: “The debate was a great venue for exploring some of the more complex issue
around drug law reform in a mature environment and with very perceptive contributions from the
Dr Henrietta Ewart, summerised the topic on the night with the following: “This is an area that we
should start small and go slow, evaluating as we go, learning from the experiences of other
jurisdictions. “
Earlier this year the Isle of Man Government opened a consultation which focused on the medicinal
use of cannabis aimed at reducing the symptoms of medical conditions. The consultation received
3285 responses from both island residents and local organisations.
ILS World Chief Executive Officer, Chris Eaton said: “I would like to thank the panel, the audience and
those who asked questions and made comments for taking part as together they helped craft an
informed and measured debate. The evening highlighted many facts and it was clear any decisions
on cannabis reform are complex and for that reason having open conversations is beneficial. ILS
World has been teaming up with the IOM Business Network for a number of years to host an annual
debate and we are delighted so many people are attracted to listening to reasoned arguments that
showcase research, presentation and teamwork.”

Dearbhla Doyle Chair of IOMBN: “On behalf of the Isle of Man Business Network I would like to thank
Chris for expertly chairing the debate, all our speakers for the time they gave out of their week for
the debate and in particular to Kamille and ILS World for bringing the topic to our platform and
supporting the event.”
The event was hosted at the Palace Hotel & Casino and saw over 90 attendees join for the insightful


Team Isle of Man Business Network (Team IOMBN) has spent the summer supporting a number of local community and environmental initiatives, having secured UNESCO Biosphere Partner status earlier this year.

In June, Team IOMBN supported the Parish Walk as thousands of brave walkers tackled the 85 mile course. Those who made it to Bishopscourt were met by volunteers on the IOMBN stand where they were handed a variety of refreshments and received a wealth of encouragement.

Almost 100 individuals from across the Island also signed up to take part in the Isle of Man Business Network Big Beach Clean with Beach Buddies in August. The collective effort, which took place at Scarlett Beach in Castletown, saw over 15 bags of plastic and discarded rubbish collected. For what on the surface appeared to be an immaculate beauty spot, closer inspection revealed that micro‐plastics and nurdles had found their way up the shoreline. Whilst not visually as detracting, these micro‐plastics pose a greater threat to our local wildlife and migrating populations.

Team IOMBN also joined together earlier this month for the annual End2End Walk to help nearly 150 walkers stay hydrated and refreshed as they passed the IOMBN stand on Peel Promenade during the 40‐mile race.

The events brought together people from a range of business backgrounds as they joined in with Team IOMBN’s community initiatives, which is what the Team IOMBN programme was designed to do.

Team IOMBN provides sole traders and small businesses with a platform to get involved in team events where they may not be able to garner a full complement from within their own organisation.

Networking goes beyond the boardroom and the core principle of IOMBN is founded on creating an environment for business networking. Team IOMBN provides the perfect outlet to give back whilst adding value to our members and broader business community.

Chair of the Isle of Man Business Network, Dearbhla Doyle, said:

‘We’ve seen some fantastic interest in our community events this summer and it’s been great to have so many people wanting to get involved. One of the Isle of Man Business Network’s key aims is to encourage and enable our members to meet likeminded people and to expand their network. These events have been really informal and allowed people to get to know one another in a less formal environment than some of our other events. They’ve also enabled us to give something back to our community and we’re already looking forward to organising our next set of community events.’

‘The Isle of Man’s UNESCO Biosphere status is a valuable accolade for us as an Island and we’re proud to have become a Biosphere Partner earlier this year. These events have helped us to support our Biosphere Partner pledge where we’ve engaged with our local community to make a positive impact on our environment.’

The Isle of Man Business Network launched Team IOMBN in May 2016 to connect with the local communities that enable local businesses and individuals, to flourish and inspire extracurricular teamwork to form a bond between Business Network members beyond the Boardroom by facilitating participation in local sporting, community and cultural events.

The Isle of Man Business Network’s Annual General Meeting saw a change in the leadership team with existing Chairman Katie Nicholson of Bridge Angel Network assuming the role of President and Vice Chairman Dearbhla Doyle of Microgaming graduating to Chairman for the April 2019 to March 2020 term, with Head of Marketing Alex Wilson of Bold Consultancy joining the leadership team as Vice Chairman.

Under Katie’s stewardship, the Isle of Man Business Network has put on 12 events over the last year attended by more than 1,000 members and non-members at ten different venues, and with 19 guest speakers and various event sponsors, achieving solid year on year membership growth with numbers currently at an all-time high.

Katie Nicholson, now President, commented: “The Isle of Man Business Network has had a fantastic year testament to the commitment and dedication of our volunteer committee. In March we saw the return of our annual ‘Carnivale’ charity ball in association with Newfield supporting their chosen charity for 2019 – Alzheimer’s Isle of Man”.

“As an organisation we have continued to strengthen our relationships with local companies and key sponsors including ILS World, Barclays, Cannacord and Estera. Through the support of our growing membership we have raised over £5,000 for local charities”.

“We have partnered with the Department for Enterprise to bring key updates to the business community through events such as our ‘Brexit Breakfast’ and ‘Digital Isle of Man Blockchain Breakfast’. We regard these events as being key to our annual calendar to ensure our members are kept up to date with new initiatives and changes that will impact business”.

Incoming Chairman, Dearbhla Doyle, commented: “The Business Network is an organisation where individuals can grow in a professional capacity. Members benefit from learning events that refresh knowledge on national and international trends and change that affects business operations and can socialise to broaden their contact network in a safe, inclusive and diverse environment”.

“Our hard-working voluntary committee gave over 490 hours to support the events programme last year and with Annabel Heap, Tom Wilson, Jessica Cocker, Savannah Ingham and Tamiko Ross joining the committee this year, we’re on a positive footing to continue to produce quality events and experiences for members and guests, and see the Network develop partnerships with sponsors, co-hosts, educators, new and existing businesses, and be seen as the go-to networking platform for business relocators to integrate and form strong connections with the local business communities here”.

Alex Wilson, former Head of Marketing, and incoming Vice Chairman, added: “Since 2016, the programme of events has grown and diversified, offering something for everyone cross industries including your non-typical business event attendees, which is what we’re striving to achieve as a committee of volunteers – an open network where everyone is welcome to participate and take benefit. Initiatives including Team IOMBN, a CSR initiative whereby members can participate in charitable, community and sporting events through the Business Network, partnering with to close the Isle of Man Graduate Fair with ‘Grad Talks’ and events marketing have helped improve the Network’s visibility locally and with a dedicated committee of volunteers, this year will be about continuing to grow our appeal and respond to members’ feedback so we continue to deliver an events programme that meets the local business community’s needs”.


Isle of Man Business Network has announced an informal networking event for students considering their options after university or college, or for those looking to further their career in the Isle of Man.


The event, which takes place at Eagle Labs on Victoria Street on Wednesday 17th April from 6.30pm, promises to take a refreshing and honest look at working life in the Isle of Man, drawing on first-hand experience within the Island’s diverse economy.


Attendees will hear from a panel of Isle of Man Business Network members who work across a variety of sectors and have returned or relocated to the Isle of Man after their studies. They will share stories of their careers, what brought them to the Island and shed light on the opportunities for career progression that they might not have experienced elsewhere.


Isle of Man Business Network delivers an annual calendar of events for people at all stages of their careers, and the committee are particularly passionate about highlighting the opportunities available to the younger workforce. This will be the first event delivered under the incoming chairman for the organisation, Dearbhla Doyle, who commented:


‘We know how daunting it can be when starting out in the world of work, with so many options available to you. Students might sometimes overlook opportunities ‘on their doorstep’ and not be aware of the breadth of new opportunities available in the Island’


‘One of the best things about living and working in the Isle of Man is that you can work in a truly global business centre for internationally recognised organisations, but it’s still relatively simple to network and make your mark within a community of likeminded professionals. By opening this invitation out to anyone with an interest in career progression, we hope to demonstrate that the Island can be a fantastic launch pad for your career.’


The panel session will be followed by a Q&A and informal networking session over pizza and drinks, giving attendees the opportunities to really get to grips with the benefits of basing their career in the Island.


Registration for the event is now available via Eventbrite at and the Isle of Man Business Network website.


The recently announced National Insurance holiday scheme provides for returning students and new residents to receive a refund of their National Insurance contributions in their first year of working in the Island. Recent statistics also revealed that there a good opportunities for career progression in the Island’s young workforce, with 1 in 3 workers aged 18 – 29 being promoted in the past year.


This event complements the Department for Enterprise’s Isle of Man Graduate Fair which also takes place on the 17th from 12pm – 6.30pm at Woodbourne House. The event is being delivered by the Department for Enterprise’s Locate Isle of Man programme, which seeks to promote the opportunities available in the Island for skilled workers. Registration for the graduate fair is also available via Eventbrite